Jeremy Corbyn agreed full IHRA definition of antisemitism, senior party figure confirms

Ann Black's report reveals Labour leader U-turn on the issue


Jeremy Corbyn previously requested that Labour commit to the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including illustrative examples, a senior figure in the party has confirmed.

The revelation flies in the face of the leadership’s claims over the past few months that the party had only ever adopted a shortened version of the definition, without the examples relating to criticism of Israel.

The party's adoption of the shorter definition has sparked a furious backlash from MPs including Sir Keir Starmer and Luciana Berger.

Ann Black, the former chair of Labour’s disciplinary disputes panel and a long-time member of its national executive committee (NEC), revealed in her latest public report: “I think the party would be in a better place if we kept our commitment to the full IHRA paper, including illustrative examples as agreed by the NEC’s equalities committee in December 2016 at Jeremy Corbyn’s request.”

In the report from the NEC subcommittee meetings of July 3, Ms Black, a one-time chair of Labour and still a hugely influential figure, also voiced her concern at the new Labour code of conduct on antisemitism.


Ms Black also revealed that at last Tuesday’s meeting of the disputes panel, now chaired by Corbyn supporter Claudia Webbe, “some members argued that we should defer all allegations of antisemitism until new procedures were in place.

“I disagreed, This would push them into the autumn and some were so appalling that the need for action was not in doubt.”

But she revealed the meeting only “got through new applications to join or re-join the party and some of the more urgent cases, but the rest were deferred to a future meeting.”

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein is among those who have accused Mr Corbyn of “a backtrack” over not adopting the IHRA definition.

Luciana Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said the Party’s new 16-point code of conduct would hand antisemites a “get out of jail free card”.

Distancing himself from the NEC’s decision, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday that he believed in the “full definition”, calling on the party to consult with the Jewish community further.

Sir Keir said: “Councils, institutions across the country have accepted the full definition. I think that's the right position to be in.

“I would urge everybody within the Labour Party to listen to the voices that have come out in recent days and get to a position where we are supporting the full definition. We have to very clear about our position on this.

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